The Tom O’Connor Show: Festival Theatre, Paignton, 1977

When I was ten, I went on holiday with my parents to Torquay.  The holiday was notably for two things.  Firstly, before the age of ten, my diet had been extremely limited.  I would regularly be seen eating packets of crisps and chocolate and very little else.  At the Torquay hotel restaurant on the encouragement of my parents I tried everything that was put in front of me that week.  Amongst other things, I discovered Sunday roast dinners for the first time and I have never looked back!

The other thing I remember about this holiday was the discovery that I had a very loud laugh.  Tom O’Connor is a very likeable easy going, Scouse comedian who found fame on television in the seventies and was playing a summer season at the Festival Theatre in Paignton the year we visited Torquay,  As a reward for eating everything, we all went along to the show and all seemed to enjoy the jokes.  I must have enjoyed myself because O’Connor looking flawed, sort of paused, grinned and acknowledged my laugh whilst sort of not believing I was so loud.  He then carried on his routine whilst I sat embarrassed in my seat.  Nevertheless a legendary thing was born and today if I think any comedian is funny I unashamedly laugh out loud so thank you Mr O’Connor for a very happy memory.

I was very sad to read about O’Connor’s death in July 2021.


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